Haslett to Incognito: It Can't Happen Again

Rams Coach Jim Haslett talked Monday about Richie Incognito's situation with the fans, on if Incognito really understands his situation, on the injury report, on if rookie John Greco can play center, on if Marc Bulger will be able to practice Wednesday, on the team's effort, on how to stop the losing streak, and on if he still wants the head coaching job.

Head Coach Jim Haslett
November 24, 2008

(On G Richie Incognito's situation with the fans)
"I talked to (G) (Richie) Incognito this morning and I heard about the situation that happened yesterday. I met with him this morning to discuss it. I have heard about five or six different versions of it so I am not really sure what scenario is the actual one. With that being said, I don't condone it and I am not really sure what he gets out of it. If it is a joke or not a joke but I think the team takes it very serious coming off the lost that we came off of. I think he should understand that and the way we played. The way the situation came out, I don't think we can stand for that anymore. I think he understands that and while talking to him this morning, I told him that it was inappropriate at the time especially after what happen. If it happens again, obviously, whatever action we can take as a team would hurt him and this football team. Hopefully, he understands that and again I am not really sure because I wasn't there and I did not see it and I heard different stories. He understands that it can't happen again and that is all that I am going to say about that."

(On the injury report)
"(DE) Victor (Adeyanju) came through ok, he had an ankle injury. (QB) Marc Bulger, concussion, he is going to have a sight test on Wednesday and hopefully he will pass on that. (DT) Adam Carriker has a bruised shoulder and he came through ok. (CB) Tye Hill had 17-cc's drained from his knee and he has a contusion on his knee. Hopefully he feels ok today and tomorrow. (RB) Steven Jackson ran today and we think he will be able to start practicing Wednesday. Again, I am optimistic and I am not really sure. We have said that for the last three or four weeks but he did look good Saturday and today when he was running. (C) Nick Leckey broke a bone in his foot and we are going to put him on IR tomorrow. He will be out and I guess he did it in warm-ups believe it or not. (DE) Eric Moore will start to practice. (T) Orlando Pace should start practicing on Wednesday and says he feels good. Hopefully, we will have him back this week. (LB) Will Witherspoon has a slight tear of his labrum on his other shoulder and he also had an MRI. He should be ok but again he will be day-to-day."

(On if G Richie Incognito really understands his situation)
"I hope he got it. I think he understands that it is inappropriate and again I did not see it. I have different versions and I am sure if I talk to 20,000 people I will get different versions. Some people may think he looks different but again, I am not going to discuss it anymore. If it happens again, we will have to handle it internally. I don't know what actions you can really take on him but he knows that it should not happen especially at that time. It is inappropriate and he should just get into the locker room and don't worry about anything." 

(On how C Brett Romberg played yesterday)
"I don't think any of the linemen played very well. I think Chicago did a good job against our offensive line. He was rusty and he could play a lot better."

(On who will play center after the injury to C Nick Leckey)
"We have some options. Again, I don't want to bring his name up but (G) Richie (Incognito) could slide there and (C) Brett Romberg could play there. We have a couple of options. This just came up five minutes ago so as a staff we will discuss it and discuss it with those guys also."

(On if T John Greco can play center)
"We are trying to get him there but I don't think so at this point. I don't really want to train a person to play center at the end of the season but he will play more. He played 20 snaps yesterday and I thought he played well. Obviously, I think he is a good athlete. He is a guy that is 6-4 and weights 325. He has some power but out of the 20 snaps, he had one poor snap and he did not climb to the second level on another. For the most part, he did his job and he held his own. I would like to get him in a little more. Whether it is starting or if he doesn't start, I would like to get him more reps. I want to get him about 35 or 40 snaps a game."

(On if G Richie Incognito can play center and T John Greco can play guard)
"That is also a possibility. He has done it before but we haven't discussed it yet. He has played it and that would give us a pretty good interior with (G) Jacob (Bell) and John (T) John (Greco)."

(On QB Marc Bulger's concussion)
"I am sure the doctors are very conscience now days anyway. I am going to base it off what the doctors say and the test he takes and we will go from there. I thought he cleared up at the end of the game. He felt good and I don't think it is as bad as the ones he had in the past."

(On if QB Marc Bulger will be able to practice on Wednesday)
"I don't know yet."

(On LB Chris Draft's status)
"He started to run on the treadmill today and he is going to go on the field tomorrow and do some running. I would hope that he would be available for next week's game."

(On who will start if LB Will Witherspoon can not play)
"(LB) David Vobora would start."

(On how can LB Will Witherspoon tackle with a separated shoulder)
"(LB) Will Witherspoon is a tough guy and he has played with injuries and he will be as effective as he can. It is a really little tear and I don't think it will affect him that much. But again (LB) David Vobora will be ready to play." 

(On if this shoulder is the same shoulder LB Will Witherspoon had surgery on)
"I think it was the other shoulder."

(On if it is the technique or something else that is wrong with the teams tackling)
"I don't know if it's as much the technique as it is the size of some of our guys. Sometimes our guys out of control when they're tackling, or trying to tackle, and some of it has to do with your stature."

(On the teams effort)
"I thought the effort was fine. I really did. When you watch it, you see guys flying around and I told you can watch the tape at any time, guys are playing hard. Again, the execution was poor. Turnovers hurt us. We missed a tackle of the opening kickoff that got us. It's the same old story, missed tackles, turnovers and the execution wasn't very good."

(On how to stop the losing streak)
"It's a bad cycle. Three times in a row. You don't understand it. You just have to keep working at and we'll keep pushing along and hopefully we'll come out of this, maybe we'll quit deferring too so we won't have to play defense the first snap."

(On deferring the opening kickoff to the second half)
"They're going to get their possession in the second half. Either way, they're going to get it. Maybe it's the psyche with these guys, I don't know."

(On why they deferred)
"The quarterbacks like to have the ball in the second half, our offense likes to come out in the second half, basically, with the ball. It's nice if you can have the ball right before the half and then get it again right when you're coming out of the half, so you can try to get two in a row."

(On if he still wants the head coaching job)
"We have some work to do. I think it can be done. It will take a little bit of time, but I told you this, I don't think this team is far off from being a pretty good football team. I do think there are some pieces missing like most teams and I do think you can get them in the offseason. Right now, you're not at that stage. We're trying to fight through some things. Obviously, we need to get our running back back. Now we need to get our quarterback back. These young receivers need to keep maturing the way they are. We have to play better up front. We have to play better than we did the last couple of weeks on the offensive line."

(On if RB Steven Jackson had his workout on Saturday)
"We did have that. That's what I was alluding to earlier that he worked out well Saturday. I actually was out there and did some things with him. I wanted to see him push it and he did a nice job. He had no setback on Sunday and then he worked again today and did a little bit more today and then we'll be off and hopefully he'll be ready to go on Wednesday."

(On his energy level)
"My energy level is fine. You want to wrestle? I'm kidding. I'm fine. Seriously, it is draining, because you sit up all night on Sunday and you think about what you can do and what you can fix and all that stuff. From that standpoint, it wears you out some. You can only have so many answers because you have so many answers. You're trying to figure out, we'll maybe if we play this guy, work this guy, do this, do that, cut things back, add things. From that standpoint, you try to cover all of the bases. It does wear you out a little bit, but I'll be fine. My energy level is always about the same."

(On possible replacements for C Nick Leckey's roster spot)
"We're looking for a veteran if we could so we could have another center. If not, there's a couple on the practice squad that we're interested in. (Executive Vice President/Player Personnel) Billy (Devaney) and I, we just went through that upstairs a little while ago. We're going to call a couple of agents, just to see the availability of some of these guys."

(On if free agent C LeCharles Bentley passed his physical)
"Not really. He was really borderline and then there were other issues besides that."

(On the fake punt call)
"That's something we worked on all week. The situation was that it could only be called or run, I guess, from fourth-and-10 in, knowing that it's tough to get a first down from 15 yards. For whatever reason, when the gunner came in, or the hold-up guy came in, Travis (Minor) called it and they ran it, but it should never have been ran. That wasn't the right situation. It was from 10 yards in. By the time the ball gets in the air, if you were 10 yards away, you would have been fine. You would have gotten the first down and we would have been fine, but 15 yards is almost impossible to get."

(On if he sent in the tape of the fake punt into the league office)
"We sent it in. The rule is the rule. It doesn't really make sense, but there is no pass interference on punt team. It's more meant for the people up there jamming so when two people are jamming and they turn their back and you keep jamming and the ball is in the air and it's an interception. I've never heard of coming from the line of scrimmage, going out and tackling a guy before the ball gets there. I don't know if there is a rule for that to be honest with you. If you look it up, there is nothing. It just says that there is no pass interference on that."

(On his opinion of the no call)
"You would think it would be holding. The guy did tackle him before the ball got there. I don't know. That is a good question. We did send it in."

(On If QB Trent Green will replace QB Marc Bulger if Marc can't play Sunday)
"Yes."

(On his impression of the amount of Bears fans at the game)
"I have no impression. I really kind of get focused in on the field. I wasn't even sure. Were there a lot of them? I don't even know. It happens. You're 2-8 at the time. It happens. Actually, that is kind of a fad now around the league. You get some of these teams and they gobble up all of the tickets for away games. I remember when I was at Pittsburgh, we played Arizona and it was like a sea of black. I thought we were playing a home game."

(On Pittsburgh fans dominating the crowd in Washington in a Monday night game on Nov. 3)
"I did see that. That's kind of the fad now. Tickets are expensive for a normal person and when you're not playing well, that's a way to recoup some of the money. I'm not worried about it. I'm worried about what's going on, on the field. I'm not really worried about what's going on in the stands."

(On if he heard about any fights in the stands)
"Nothing. When I was with the Raiders, we used to play the Rams and there would be some good fights in the stands."

(On what T Orlando Pace will have to show him to be able to play)
"I have to see him do what he normally does. If he goes out there Wednesday and he practices, he'll be fine. I watched him work out this week and he felt good. He worked out at the end of last week. I saw him work out and he had the brace on and he actually looked okay then when we were in the indoor facility. I thought he did alright."

(On if he was shocked about the outcome of the game)
"We were talking about it upstairs as a staff. The guys, they actually prepared well and they practiced well. I guess it's not live in practice so if you're an offensive lineman and you are doing a good job and Marc (Bulger) is throwing balls then, but it is a little different when all of a sudden somebody is knocking your offensive line back 3 or 4 yards and into your quarterback's face. You can't simulate that. All of the other stuff is good. We're just going to have to do a better job in protection and run blocking. Obviously 19 carries and 14 yards rushing is not good enough."

(On his message to the team today at the team meeting)
"I think everybody is frustrated, No. 1, and that's why you see some of the things going on. The coaching staff, also. I think that's the No. 1 thing that sets in, frustration. Everybody is disappointed in the way we've played for the past three weeks. The frustration, the only way to get rid of it is to win a game or play a lot better so you feel better about yourself. Right now, we aren't doing either one of them. We're going to have to come out and practice, have a good week this week, and play Miami as good as we can play them without turning the ball over, without getting dumb penalties and we'll have to do a better job tackling. This team is coming in to run the ball too. They have Ricky (Williams) who is a good football player and Ronnie Brown and they're going to come in running the ball. All of that being said, these next couple of games we play, there will be a lot of the same old, same old, so we're going to have to play better."

(On the special teams penalty)
"We had a holding. The penalties killed us on special teams, because Derek (Stanley) had some nice returns. I think we had one back to the 40. We ended up going back to the 15. I think we lost 120 yards in yardage on returns. Really, if it's 120, it's 240, because you have to make another 120 up to recoup the ones that you lost. We can't do that. Again, I don't think we're very smart. That's the first time on special teams that we've done that. It's disappointing to me, because that's one area, the coverage, that we've been good. Actually, the return units, we were excited about having Derek (Stanley) back there this week. We thought maybe we could get one on them, because they are a good coverage unit. We had a couple of opportunities but we ended up shooting ourselves in the foot. We're going to have to clean that stuff up or we'll take some off, one of the two."


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